By Percy Crawford | October 31, 2008

"He's got a lot to prove in this fight. Everybody is looking at him as the bad guy and I know he's looking to prove to everybody that he can beat me. I'm glad he's thinking that way because I'm thinking the same way too. I'm going to knock his fucking head off if I get a chance. It's all good though. He's getting prepared and I'm getting prepared and I think this fight is going to be entertaining," stated UFC welterweight contender Anthony Johnson as he talked about his upcoming rematch with Kevin Burns. Check out what else he had to say about the fight and much more.

PC: It's been awhile since we came on record bro. What's been up my man?

AJ: Man, the same shit, different day, you know; living life. I'm training my ass off.

PC: How long have you been able to go all out in training?

AJ: I've been able to go for about a month and a half. I didn't even put on the mask and stuff like that like those wrestlers would use. I really didn't take any head shots, but I was like, fuck it. This is my job. I gotta suck it up and do what I gotta do. I've been training without a mask on to protect my eye eye hasn't been giving me any problems whatsoever. You know what I mean?

PC: It's good to hear that because it was looking ugly for a minute there.

AJ: It was ugly man. Everybody has been tripping about that loss. The hell with that loss; my eye is still in my head and I can see so I'm good to go man. I'm not tripping about that loss.

PC: Although people have been saying it's a go, you just signed to fight the rematch with Kevin Burns. I'm sure you're excited. Tell me how you're feeling man?

AJ: I'm really excited about this rematch. I wasn't nervous. A lot of people were telling me they wouldn't rematch him again thinking he may poke me in the eye again. I've already talked to my people. If the shit goes down this time and he pokes me in my eye just one time, then just go ahead and stop the fight. It ain't even worth it. If that shit goes down and he pokes me in my eye again, then obviously it's meant for real. He's supposedly had surgery on his hand and now he could make a closed fist so I shouldn't have anything to worry about if he had the surgery and can close his hand and that's it. It should be a good fight and I know he's training his ass off. He's got a lot to prove in this fight. Everybody is looking at him as the bad guy and I know he's looking to prove to everybody that he can beat me. I'm glad he's thinking that way because I'm thinking the same way too. I'm going to knock his fucking head off if I get a chance. It's all good though. He's getting prepared and I'm getting prepared and I think this fight is going to be entertaining.

PC: You were in control of that first fight until the eye poke. They ruled it a TKO win for Burns. Were you surprised they didn't overturn the decision?

AJ: I was very surprised that they didn't overturn it. I don't know what they were thinking for not overturning it. If I was on steroids or some kind of illegal supplements or something like that, they would have been all over it, but the fact that I had surgery and my vision is clear and I didn't lose my eye, they're fine with that. Nothing serious really happened. If I would've lost my vision, then they would've made something happen, but right now, they're not worrying about nothing. They're trying to catch people that's on illegal stuff. They are thinking this is part of the sport and you get hurt like that, but it's more than just a sport. This is my life; this is my career. If something like that would've happened to Chuck Liddell, I guarantee you they would've been all over it, but it's me and, not saying that I'm a nobody, but you know what I'm saying. It is what it is and I'm not tripping. I got a loss, but hey, who doesn't get a loss? Everybody loses. Even Fedor has 1 loss on his record and look at him now. I have 2 losses on my record. I'm 5-2, but so what. I'm going to keep going. I'm not going to let that decision on their part slow me down.

PC: Is it important for you to put him away this time?

AJ: I'm not even worrying about putting him away. I'm going to just beat him. A lot of people think that I'm going to go in there and get revenge. It's not even about revenge because if you go in there trying to get revenge, that's when you mess up. I go in there to kill anyway, but it's with a calm head. I'm not going in there for revenge. I'm going in there to fight and to win. I want to give the fans a good show and do what I do best. This time I won't hold back at all. The last time I had a lot of problems outside of the cage that affected me inside of the cage and I wasn't there mentally. My camp is going so great and so smooth right now. I'm already down to 188. It's still big for me, but to be 6 weeks out and I'm already 188, I'm going to just cruise right on down to 170. The cardio is looking great; on point. I sparred for an hour the other day and every minute, a new partner. They were pushing me, but I was pushing right back. It's going to be fun.

PC: I know you won't go in thinking revenge and you will try to be level headed, but at some point, emotion will take over. How do you remain calm?

AJ: Every professional...I look at all of the past champions and you look at when Randy Couture fought Chuck Liddell, he got poked in the eye on accident. Randy went in there and he was mad and what happened to him? He got knocked out right afterwards. I don't want to go in there pissed off because you open yourself up just like Randy did against Chuck. I look at mistakes people in the past made and I look at how they became better. I try to take a little bit from here and there and put it into my little arsenal. I can't get mad like that. I have to keep my cool. Plus, everybody that's not familiar with this sport thinks we're just beasts anyway. After what I said the last time, I kept my cool then and my eye was split open so I have to stay that way. I have to keep my head on my shoulders and be smart. I can't be stupid and go at him all crazy and not keep my cool because once you mess up and get angry, you've lost already because you leave yourself open. You can't lose your train of thought.

PC: Will you do anything different in this fight than the first time around?

AJ: I had to change a few things here and there, but for the most part, I'm still me. I still stick to my gameplan and that's you either go hard or go home. When I go home, I plan on going home a winner. Everything is still the same and looking good. My cardio is getting better and better. A lot of people thought I was gassing and stuff, but when you get poked in the eye so many times, that shit starts messing with you. I'm cool and I'm ready right now, you know? If he wanted to fight right now, we could do it.

PC: Brock Lesnar requested that Steve Mazagatti not officiate his fight with Randy Couture. Will you be taking the same procedure?

AJ: No man. I don't blame Steve for anything. Yeah, I wish he would've said something sooner from the 4 previous times he poked me in the eye. He said something once, but Steve was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was on my left and I was blocking with my left so my arm was up because I was blocking and he just didn't see it. It's not Steve's fault. He called what he thought he saw. He thought he saw me get caught with that uppercut. I'm sure if I was the ref, I would've made that same call. Once he saw that on the replay that I never got hit with that uppercut, he apologized. Steve felt really bad. A lot of people don't know, but I saw him at an event and he apologized to me man. I told him it wasn't his fault. He was just in the wrong place to make the correct call. I told him I was not mad at him because I probably would've made that same call that he made. Steve did his job; it was just the wrong call because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Much props to damn Steve man. I'm not hating on the man at all. If he was picked to ref my fight again, I'll let him do it. I'm not tripping, you know? I think if there was instant replay, it would change the game a lot, but oh well.

PC: We'll get more with you closer to fight time. We'll have to get you in another chat session. Kevin Burns-Anthony Johnson 2 is a done deal and I'm glad you get this rematch. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

AJ: I want to thank everybody. I want to thank you man, my team, Cung Le, my coach Allen Maravilla and my sister who just had her baby so I'd like to congratulate her. I just want to thank everybody for sticking beside me and they should watch this fight. It's going to be explosive.

[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]

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